General, Research, Technology

Designed chocolate "ink" for printing desserts on a 3D printer

In 2013, a visual effects specialistBrian Began, who during his career managed to work on the movie "Star Trek: Retribution," created his own company to print beautiful chocolate figures on a 3D printer. Today, such a technology for the manufacture of chocolate products is used in many companies, however, for use on 3D printers, chocolate must first be heated to a temperature of 31 to 36 degrees Celsius. Fortunately, confectioners will be able to print complex shaped sweets in the near future even at room temperature. And all thanks to the fact that scientists from Singapore managed to develop chocolate “inks” suitable for use on 3D printers without heat treatment.

3D printed chocolate skull

About the new composition of chocolate for 3D printers wasnarrated on the pages of the scientific journal Nature. Researchers from Singapore University of Technology set out to change the composition of chocolate so that it becomes viscous even at room temperature, and has the properties of standard inks for three-dimensional printing without pre-heating. For this, a group of scientists led by professors Rahul Karjappa and Mitinao Hashimoto mixed various pastes and syrups with cocoa powder. In the end, they achieved what they wanted and created a chocolate mixture that remains in a semi-liquid state even at room temperature.

Can I print sweets on a 3D printer?

Chocolate ink for 3D printers receivedname Chocolate-based ink 3D-Printing (Ci3DP). According to the researchers, the resulting mass turned out to be as thick as paste and perfectly suited for the so-called cold extrusion. In general, this technology was invented back in 1797 and is used for the manufacture of various plastic and rubber items, as well as food products such as pasta, noodles and corn sticks. The essence of the technology is that a viscous mass is poured into an apparatus called an extruder and squeezed out under high pressure through a forming hole. In principle, modern 3D printers work similarly.

Ci3DP Chocolate Ink Sweets

Only it’s worth understanding the difference between hot andcold extrusion. Previously, to print 3D sweets, chocolate had to be preheated, because at room temperature it simply hardened. However, thanks to the creation of Ci3DP chocolate ink, the printing material no longer needs to be heated - it is in a viscous state at room temperature and hardens when printing is exposed to lower temperature.

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To prove the suitability of the created chocolate"Ink" for printing confectionery products on a 3D printer, scientists shared photos of the desserts they created. The pictures show that they really have quite complex shapes and are decorated with small details. It must be that only confectioners with extensive experience can create such beauty manually, and the process will obviously take a lot of time. How many minutes it takes to print one chocolate treat, the scientists did not say, but they mentioned that some desserts have a liquid filling.